The Religion of Constantine I: An Analysis of the Modern Scholarly Hypotheses and Interpretations of the Contemporary Evidence

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Title: The Religion of Constantine I: An Analysis of the Modern Scholarly Hypotheses and Interpretations of the Contemporary Evidence
Authors: Hobbs, Lauren
Date: 2014
Abstract: This thesis examines the hypotheses that modern historians have developed about the religion of the emperor Constantine I. Its aim is to elucidate the different methodologies historians have employed to interpret the contemporary evidence, which has often led to the development of conflicting hypotheses. The first chapter will discuss interpretations of the contemporary evidence that has led Barnes, Drake, and Bardill to hypothesize that Constantine converted to Christianity after the Battle of the Milvian Bridge. This chapter will primarily discuss possible familial and political influences and the narratives of Eusebius and Lactantius in order to elucidate the circumstances surrounding Constantine’s conversion. Then Constantine’s military insignia and his possible sacrifice after battle will be discussed in order to demonstrate any alterations in his religious mentality. The second chapter will examine the different interpretations of Constantine’s religious policy and legislation in order to clarify why Barnes proposes that Constantine became intolerant of religious diversity after his conversion, while Drake, Potter, and Bardill believe that he had remained as tolerant as he had been as a pagan. The third chapter will present the interpretations of the contemporary evidence that has led Burckhardt and Kee to assert that Constantine never converted to Christianity. This thesis will demonstrate that the vague and sometimes contradictory contemporary evidence supports multiple and even competing hypotheses. For this reason, there can be no “correct” answer about the religion of Constantine.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/31413
http://dx.doi.org/10.20381/ruor-3858
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -
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